Are My Crops Hungry?

Mar 26, 2019

Your seed has the greatest yield potential the day it is planted. From then on, it takes intensive management to get the most of your genetics. Chances are you have a routine in place for managing crops- fertilizing, pest management, and choosing the right hybrid for your acres. As you go through these routines you should be taking into consideration the timing, the rate and source of the nutrients to ensure they're available to the crop when it needs it. This can be the difference between average and exceptional yield. 
Plant Nutrition:
There are 17 nutrients required by all plants for survival. If you completely removed one of these essential nutrients from the crop, it wouldn't be able to perform many crucial functions. For example, a plant grown without zinc would not be able to effectively produce chlorophyll, stunting plant growth. It is critical to have an adequate supply of the essential nutrients but not all nutrients are needed in the same quantities at the same time. 

Application Timing:
Certain nutrients are more important than others at key points during the growth and development of a plant. Actually applying the nutrients when they're needed can help achieve maximum benefit. 
Understanding the inner workings of your crops can help you develop a more effective fertility program. As spring approaches, the focus will be on nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. But other nutrients such as sulfur and micro-nutrients can provide a strong foundation for high yields. 
There are tools available to you that help take the guess work out of application timing, such as the R7® Field Forecasting Tool. It incorporates product and operational costs to provide a complete picture to make sure you’re investing wisely to optimize yield and ROI potential.
With the growing season right around the corner, we're here to help you with your holistic plant nutrition plan. Talk with your West Central Ag Services agronomist to make the most of your crop fertility plans. 

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